Athens Olympic Museum Visit
Athens has a brand new Olympic Museum that opened two months ago in May of 2021. It is a sleek look at the history of the ancient competition, the modern games, and Greece’s participation in the games. The focus is clearly on Greece but anyone with an interest in the games will enjoy a visit.
I spent a couple of hours there because I ended up meeting a docent that was very happy to give me a tour. I would say that most people would be through in an hour or less. The cost of entry is 7€ for an adult, 6€ for children.
The museum is located adjacent to the Olympic Stadium and park, the mostly abandoned relic of the 2004 games. The Metro 1 (Green) line is the closest with the stop at Eirḗnē (Ειρήνη). It is still about a 20 minute walk through the Olympic park to get to museum. Otherwise, you would want to take a bus or a taxi/Uber. It is quite far north of the standard tourist areas — another reason I believe the museum is targeting Greeks rather that foreign tourists.
Before or after your visit, it is interesting to walk around the neglected Olympic park.
The museum is connected to the Golden Hall, a modern shopping center.
The Athens Olympic Museum is divided into three main sections.
The first section is an overview of the ancient Olympiad and the competitions in Greek history. It explains the various games played in ancient times, why the games were played, and so on.
The middle section is the main section and it goes through the history of the modern games, starting with the first games that were held in Athens in 1896 (beating out Paris). Athens at that time was not a huge city, and a lot of work was done to prepare for the games.
The next room goes through the various games played between 1900 and 2004, with displays for each game with quick facts and artifacts.
A large space is then dedicated to the 2004 games in Athens followed by more info about the games after 2004. A room dedicated to the torches ends that section.
The final room showcases Greek athletes that have represented the country throughout the games.
Up an elevator is the museum gift shop and a cafe.
I have visited Olympic stadiums and exhibits in a number of locations including Beijing, Salt Lake City, Vancouver, and now Athens. The 2004 (and the 1896 for that matter) games were a strain on the city and we are currently seeing a change in the expectations of a host city.
Have you visited the Athens Olympic Museum or stadium? What other Olympic stadiums have you visited?